Like Nature? You'll LOVE New Zealand! January 05, 2017

By (Engineering Science, Trinity University) - abroad from 07/07/2016 to 11/15/2016 with

IFSA: Auckland - University of Auckland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be more independent and how to adapt to unexpected circumstances (i.e. pushing a rental car up a hill and out of mud < but hey, I learned how to drive on the left side of the road!). I gained new friends, most with whom I hope to keep in touch. I would recommend study abroad to anyone who wants to grow and try new things!

Review Photos

IFSA-Butler: Auckland - University of Auckland Photo IFSA-Butler: Auckland - University of Auckland Photo IFSA-Butler: Auckland - University of Auckland Photo IFSA-Butler: Auckland - University of Auckland Photo IFSA-Butler: Auckland - University of Auckland Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were different than what I was used to because they were huge lectures (sometimes more than 200 people). Most of the professors (you usually called them by their first name) were really engaging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IFSA staff in New Zealand were so friendly and helpful!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My flat was really new and clean. However, I wish my flatmates had been a little more friendly. Pro tip: The laundry machines only take $1 and $2 coins.

* Food:

It was difficult to have to make my own meals, but I learned a lot in doing so. Occasionally I would end up eating dinner really late or eating a peanut butter sandwich because I started cooking too late. There were so many good Thai and Indian restaurants in particular! (All types of Asian food were super authentic and yummy.) Also, 3 out of 5 days of the week there were $5 vegan lunches served by two clubs on campus. They were delicious and a cheap alternative if you forgot to bring a lunch.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

All of the kiwis that I met were nice and very helpful. However, it was more difficult to make friends with local kiwis because many lived far away from campus.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the doctor a couple of times and physiotherapy for most of the semester. My physiotherapist and I talked a lot about traveling to different parts of the country. My injury made me feel more like a local.

* Safety:

I always felt safe, even when alone in the city. At night, I usually walked with at least two other people unless I was just walking back from campus.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The IFSA staff were super helpful and friendly. Our Student Services Coordinator was always willing to meet up for coffee to talk and she planned really fun trips that we might not have done on our own. I liked how small our group was too.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Groceries were very expensive. Especially meat!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent 250NZD or more each week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I kept and tried to document spending in a Google Sheet that I shared with my parents so I could persuade them to give me money if I really needed it.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • program coordinator
  • the amount of freedom and support
  • weekend trips/events
* What could be improved?
  • More engineering students
  • more contact with people in program before orientation
  • better info about what to pack for orientation activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I needed to study and work more at the beginning of the semester, so studying for finals wasn't as stressful (one was 80% of my final grade!).